Fitness in the Great Outdoors
Written by: Lauren Frederick
Hey, all you fit folks!
Hope you’re enjoying the warmer, yet not quite hot, weather as much as I am! Now is the time to branch out of your gym or apartment and enjoy the sunshine while getting fit! Working out in the sunlight not only allows you to show off your fitness prowess to the local obaachans but it also gives you more mobility, a healthy dose of vitamin D, and it’s (usually) free!
Don’t know any good workout routines to do in the great outdoors? I got you covered!
For cardio, the obvious answers are biking or jogging. If you’re like me, doing both of these can get pretty boring. Running around town? Bleh. And most of us bike to work, so that’s not something we want to do in our spare time, as well. Luckily, there are ways to jazz up these routines. How, you say? Intervals! Interval training during cardio is proven to increase fat burn and promote a longer after burn once you’re done with your workout. That means you will get leaner quicker and burn calories long after you’re finished working out. Awesome, right?
Here’s a little interval exercise to do while you’re jogging or running:
1. Start with a 5 minute brisk warm-up walk.
2. Lightly jog at a slow pace for 2 minutes.
3. Jog for 2 minutes.
4. Sprint for 1 minute.
5. Repeat steps 2-4 three times for about a 30-minute workout. If you’re in a hilly area, you can increase your workout by running uphill for half of your workout (or all of it if you’re a superstar!)
Here’s one for the bike:
1. Do a 5 minute cycling warm-up at a pace that slightly raises your heart rate.
2. Start with a 3 minute sprint (you should be short of breath and pedaling fast.)
3. Do a 2 minute recover.
4. Do a 2 minute sprint.
5. Do a 1 minute recover.
6. Repeat 2-5 for as long of a workout as you need. Finish with a 5 minute cool down cycle.
Remember to be careful if you’re cycling in a crowded area. Don’t run over any small children or old people!
Jogging and cycling not your thing? You can do tons of other things like double jump ropes (with or without an actual jump rope), boxing punches, burpees (the total body workout we all have a hate-love relationship with), and anything that raises your heartbeat and gets you sweating! The internet is a treasure trove of ideas for outdoor cardio. Just remember to stay safe and hydrated!
So how about strength? Does it seem that outside your weight room, your options are limited when it comes to building muscle? Well, then it seems you’re forgetting that you carry around a pretty bulky free weight all the time: your own body! Doing bodyweight training like plans, mountain climbers, and push-ups will build lean muscle while saving you some money that would normally go to gym fees! Combine these with an interval run or bike, and you’ll have a pretty solid workout routine! Again, there are tons of bodyweight moves on the internet, just giving you a poke in the right direction! Stay safe!
Another thing to be mindful of while working out in the sun is, of course, the sun. Be sure to wear sunscreen to have some nice skin to go with your fit body. UV rays occur even on overcast days, so slather some on just in case! Get some stuff made for sports so you won’t have to worry about reapplying all the time. Doesn’t hurt to invest in some good shades, as well!
Have fun in the sun and enjoy the outdoors!